Book Review: The Four C’s Formula

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elementscpa-the-four-c-formula“Most people won’t take action on a project or goal until they feel capable and confident about it, but those are stages three and four of the process. You can’t have confidence until you have created a new capability, and you can’t acquire a new capability until you have first made the commitment and then gone through a period of courage. This four-stage process is the formula for all entrepreneurial breakthroughs.”

Dan Sullivan’s insight into the entrepreneurial mind is unparalleled in my opinion. And in his mini-book, “The Four C’s Formula”, he unpacks one of the core realities at the heart of being an entrepreneur: that process of stretching into the unknown. The book is filled with good gems and stories, which will resonate with any business owner who’s tried to make a difference, and will help provide you a framework for approaching doing what you do: creating something out of nothing.

In short, Dan shows us that:

  • Nothing starts until you commit to achieving a specific measurable result by a specific date in your future.
  • After you’ve made the commitment, courage is required because you have to take action before you’ve actually acquired the capability to achieve the result.
  • Capability comes about then, only because of the space that commitment and courage provide for it to develop.
  • And once new capability finally is created, confidence is the natural result.

The reality of this cycle, which applies to anything from personal exercise to business creation, first occurred to Dan when he was drafted into the Army in 1965. While in boot camp, his platoon was learning how to safely throw grenades — when asked by the drill sergeant who was scared, Dan was the only one of 50 to actually raise his hand. The sergeant then said, ‘Sullivan is the only person here I trust because he’s actually telling the truth — the people who are scared and don’t say it, are a bigger worry to me than the people that actually admit it.’ Later, after Dan had successfully thrown his live grenade, the sergeant commented, ‘I want to tell you the difference between fear and courage: Fear is wetting your pants. Courage is doing what you’re supposed to do with wet pants.’

The book is small, but it’ll tweak your mind and leave you approaching that next challenge with a different, and much healthier, mindset. I highly recommend it, and am replacing one of our Top 5 Business Books with this new title. You can purchase The Four C’s Formula direct from Dan’s company, The Strategic Coach.